In this Octobers GGP Installer Matters column, Faisal Hussain, Chief Executive of the Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) shares what proactive steps the organisation is taking to help combat the ‘stark & emotional’ results of the DGCOS Glass and Glazing Mental Health Survey, delivered earlier this year.
“When we first set out writing this column, we promised that we would openly explore the challenges faced by window, door and conservatory installers and offer solutions. It has been a challenging year all round and we have collectively faced many battles, from a supply chain spiralling out of control, price hikes and raw material shortages, to a home improvement boom which has led to unprecedented demand across the board. On top of that, we’ve also had to battle Brexit, ignorance to our sector in the governments green agenda, and the widely recognised shortage of skilled labour. It’s no wonder our mental health is suffering.
“Together, we have examined these topics through this column. It is fair to say, Mental Health and the wider issues our industry is facing have become passions for me and DGCOS is taking positives steps to offer solutions in both areas.
Delivering positive solutions
“For instance, we are building a Fenestration Working Group that will harness the power of coming together for the greater good of the sector to ultimately, shape the future of our industry.
“We also conducted the industry’s first Glass and Glazing Mental Health Survey, which induced an outpouring of support and interest, and in some cases, installers sharing their own personal battles with us, and delivered stark and emotional results. With over two thirds of respondents experiencing burn-out, and circa 90% saying they’ve seen an increase in workload since the Pandemic, the survey shows the price we’re paying in terms of mental health as a sector.
Promoting self-care in mental health
“DGCOS is taking proactive steps to try and support those affected. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is practice self-care. Engaging in a self-care routine can reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, increase happiness, and more. It can help you adapt to changes, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. This can be difficult in a work environment but taking time out and slowing down during the day, actually makes you more productive. Knowing where to start is also a challenge. This is why one of the first steps in our quest to support better mental health in our industry, is a self-care toolkit.
A dedicated self-care toolkit
“The aim is to provide installers with items to help practice self-care in their day-to-day life. The toolkit includes specially selected items like headphones so you can listen to music, podcasts, audio books or even mediation guides to help you relax during your break. We have also included therapeutic items to aid exercise, relaxation and sleep at the end of a busy day.
“The toolkit is a work in progress. We’re interested to hear what you’d like to see included in our toolkit that can be used during your day-to-day life to help lower stress levels and ease tension. We will be sending out a sample selection to our staff to trial initially, before rolling out to our members. If however, you would like to be part of the trial, please get in touch with me directly: [email protected]
“As an organisation DGCOS aims to support our members at every stage of their installer journey and the self-care toolkit is just an extension of this support. It is the first in a series of solutions we are planning on delivering to promote better mental health in the fenestration industry.